Baja: San Ignacio to Santa Rosalia

It was amazing after all this deserted countryside with barely a soul or a car in sight to come across the oasis town of San Ignacio with the beautiful Misión San Ignacio Kadakaamán, built in 1786. Today, the town is sleepy. We saw no other tourists and few locals. In 2010, the national census had only 667 people living in this town. We heard from others that most of the young people leave many of these localities and move to Mexico City or Guadalajara to study, often never to return to live. The town is a combination of bright, recently painted small dwellings and crumbling edifices from brighter days. Some of the streets are unpaved. Returning to the road, we quickly re-entered a desert landscape with massive mountains, cholla cactus fields, and even a truck lying crashed on the side of the road like a dinosaur skeleton. Our next stop was the more prosperous town of Santa Rosalia, nestled right up against the Sea of Cortez. With about 20 times the population of Santa Rosalia, this town was relatively more buzzing, even though its mining days are long gone. It’s houses have unique tin-roofs and porches, which harken back to its founding in 1884 by a French company who mined for copper there for 70 years.

 

 

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